Now we come to the fourth point, that is, the need for all the brothers and sisters to receive the same training.
We need to offer the new believers a special kind of meeting. In Shanghai and Foochow we have already offered this training to the new believing brothers and sisters. This meeting is the same every year. We do not want to move on to something new. Of course, we do not want these training lessons to be recited like the Lord’s prayer to some people. If the speakers are living, there will be life. These instructional lessons are given in sequence from the beginning of each year to the end. After fifty-two weeks, the cycle is repeated again. When each brother goes out, he will at least have received all the basic instructions. In this way, we will eliminate some of the problems.
If some come into our midst, regardless of which week they join, they will finish the whole training in one year. After fifty-two weeks, the cycle will repeat itself again. If they come in at the tenth week of the first year, they will complete the cycle of training and teaching when they approach the ninth week of the following year. Everyone should get the same instructions and then be ready to be sent out.
Advise them that when they migrate to a place they should try their best to save souls in the locality where they live. Thus, we should first bring men to salvation in the locality which is the center. These people should be edified and sent out to other places. They should be given the opportunity to go out to preach the gospel.
In this way the whole church will preach the gospel, not just the evangelists. If only the evangelists do the preaching, they can never complete the preaching of the gospel throughout China in their lifetime. Today the population in China is 450 million, but not more than one million are Christians. If these one million Christians are in our hand and everyone is sent out, we can evangelize China. We need to help them receive the same kind of training and then send them out. Then we will see the church preaching the gospel everywhere.
They go out to preach the gospel because they are sent out, not because they are persecuted. Perhaps they will meet persecution, but the main thing is that they must go out.
Some arrangement is necessary, and the leading brothers must make these arrangements. Some localities are strategic geographically, and we must take them. Perhaps we first should send three or five men there to take up some kind of employment. Then we might send a few more to take up other employment. When people are brought to salvation through them, the co-workers can then go there to raise up a meeting. In order to go on, we need a change from the present situation. This is the way to go on in the work.
Today all the brothers and sisters acknowledge that when the church preaches the gospel there is always more fruit. Only the work of the church can become more fruitful. Recently, a group of brothers went to Kutien to preach the gospel, and a total of more than fifty were saved and baptized. Brother Chen returned and said that when he left he did not know what the result of the church’s preaching of the gospel would be. But after his trip to Kutien, he had no more doubts: When the church preached the gospel, men were saved. Without advertisement, one person simply took hold of one or two other persons. In a short time more than fifty were saved.
In the past Nan-Ping had only a few saints in the meetings. After the brothers went there recently, more than twenty people were baptized. These people heard the gospel during the great fire in Nan-Ping, when only one fourth of the city was spared. About ten homes of our brothers were also burned. Brother Huang‘s store was burned too. But when the whole church preached the gospel, a number of people were saved. Our brothers wrote and said that since they discovered this way, they would give their lives for it and not turn in any other direction.
While the church is preaching the gospel, the Lord is working. We did not have to use any advertisement or apply any human methods. The brothers simply went out, each one bringing in another, and the people came. It matters little if the message is somewhat weak. As long as the church is preaching the gospel, scores upon scores of people will be baptized. In the future this work will be passed on to the local brothers; they will do the work themselves.
(Further Talks on the Church Life, Chapter 6, by Watchman Nee)